You’re wading through a river, against the flow. Left, right, left, right. One step in front of the other, slowly gaining ground, but feeling the pressure against you each for each foot of progress. You can see the path ahead through the clear, frigid water, and the pitfalls ahead are a mixture of obvious and hidden. One misstep turns an ankle and – gasp! – you go under. Spluttering in confusion, you realise you’re being swept away. Your fingers splay and your hands grab, trying to find purchase on everything, anything. The pock-marked and slimy surface of a rock slams into your hand and you come to a halt. With great effort from your exhausted muscles, you haul yourself on your rock and sit to gather your wits and your breath. Wiping your hair from your eyes, you look around and can see the familiar path you were wading is far ahead and you’ve lost considerable progress.
But hold on. From the new height of your rock, you can see there’s a different path emerging. Studying it more carefully you notice it weaves its way in and out of your old path, using the familiarity of the old and the fresh clarity of the new. This emerging path might take you longer, but it looks like it could be easier going. Of course, there could be things you wouldn’t have noticed from so far away, but you’ll just take it easy and remember where you fell last time.
Turning around, you look back at the trail in your wake. A sandbank here, a lonely old tree there. Another rock and a sturdy piece of driftwood on some rocks. All these familiar items mark where you fell and ended up, only to receive a new perspective on your journey from the new vantage point.
You smile at each one and lower yourself into the water again, patting your rock tenderly and mentally saying goodbye. It won’t be the last fall that leads to the last rock, but at least it provided respite from the journey and gave you a new view on your situation.
Once again, you’re wading through a river, against the flow. Left, right, left, right. One step in front of the other, slowly gaining ground, but feeling the pressure against you each for each foot of progress. But this time the pressure is eased somewhat and your footing is more secure. One step at a time. You’ve got this.
I find writing to music helps me greatly, and this particular post was written while listening to Alan Ellis.